WWE fans have been asking for this since the brand split ended. For those that were paying attention to the huge news day from the WWE, the brand split is back and will take effect in July. Meanwhile, WWE Smackdown is getting a lot more attention from Vince McMahon, who is overseeing this big change in the company.
WWE Smackdown is going live on July 19 on a permanent basis. That hasn’t been the case since WWE’s second show became a reality. Below is an excerpt from WWE’s big announcement early Wednesday morning:
“This bold move will have major ramifications for all of WWE and exemplify the New Era, as both Raw and SmackDown will each feature their own unique rosters and rivalries following an imminent Superstar draft.
“WWE’s flagship programs will both leverage the incredible depth of our talent roster, distinct storylines and the unpredictable nature of live TV,” WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon said. ‘This move will undoubtedly build more excitement and deepen engagement with our fans around the world.’
“With so many explosive competitors emerging from WWE NXT, and top Superstars like John Cena and Seth Rollins returning from injury, WWE’s star-powered roster has never been stronger. Its historic division and the monumental revelation of SmackDown’s shift to a live format each week reflect the excitement and unpredictability of WWE’s New Era.”
Every word in that press release spelled out what kind of problems the WWE was facing when their roster became so large. Injuries piled up, which made it easy for the WWE to have an abundance of superstars on it. Eventually, those injuries would heal and guys like Randy Orton, John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Bray Wyatt would come back. Did WWE have the option of shoving those men into the main event, while forgetting who was there currently?
It was a formula that worked temporarily but had a shelf life. Now, they are able to focus on two shows, while separating the writing teams. Moving forward, that’s one of the biggest takeaways from this entire event. No longer does one giant writing team have to write both shows. Even if it’s not that way in the back, both shows will have relevance.
That’s why the brand split and newfound relevance of WWE Smackdown can only be described as phenomenal and what has been needed for several years. Will it get back to what it used to be when Paul Heyman was writing it? Doubtful, but only due to Heyman’s illustrious usage of talent and the way he was able to write television. Heyman was one of the best writers in WWE history.
Now, Ryan Ward, who used to be the lead writer of NXT, is the head writer of WWE Smackdown. He has a great track record and may be able to pull off the same thing on the main roster. However, he has McMahon to answer to, instead of HHH. Both have different minds of the business.
Since the release came out, updates are now available. Per F4WOnline, McMahon is reportedly “pumped up” and full of ideas for the brand split. This could either be a good or bad thing. The WWE will still pursue talents outside of the WWE, even though they are experiencing an influx right now. Dave Meltzer noted that there may be two titles once again on a main event level.
Not everyone will be in favor of these changes. It will shake up the WWE for a long time to come. However, it’s best for business simply for the reason that talent won’t be overlooked as easily now. With possibly two world titles and an entire show to themselves, there are more chances to shine. It’s a shame Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett left when they did.
[Photo by Jessica Hill/AP Images]